Anything that isn’t recycled and is put in a black rubbish bag ends up in landfill, and landfill is a problem for a number of reasons: it eats up natural habitats, destroys eco-systems, emits pollutant gasses to the air, pollutes the ground and water sources, and means that tonnes and tonnes of precious materials are wasted every year, when they could be recycled or reused instead.
But there are lots of ways you can play a positive role in reducing the need for landfill. Reduce waste and your reliance on the black bag with these easy tips!
If you think about it, most of the waste that ends up in the bin comes from food packaging, so making a few alterations to your shopping list could prevent a lot of stuff being chucked out.
Most of us have a recycling bag or box, but how much recyclable stuff inadvertently goes in the black bag instead? RecycleNow is a great site which gives you info on your local area and tips and guides on how to recycle to make sure you’re not wasting a single lick of recyclable material.
It’s easy to overlook food waste in the grand scheme of your bin, but add it all up and it’s a real problem. The UK chucks away 7 million tonnes of food every year – that’s enough to fill nine Wembley Stadiums! And your bank balance suffers, too. According to Love Food Hate Waste, the average household could save £60 a month if they made a few simple changes to their food habits. Find out how, here.
No matter how militant you are with your food waste, you’re still going to have a few scraps left over. Make the most of them by creating your own compost heap instead of turfing them in the trash.
Ugh, junk mail. Who needs it? Every morning you’re greeted with sheets and sheets of paper offering ‘great deals’ and special offers, and guess what? It all ends up in the bin (well, hopefully the recycling bag). Sadly, ‘No junk mail’ stickers above letter boxes rarely work, so take five minutes to register your details with the Mailing Preference Service and you should see the amount of unwanted post peter out.
Okay, so it’s unlikely that you’re dumping old washing machines and dishwashers in the bin, but what about smaller electronic gadgets and gizmos, such as old phones, clippers, clocks and toys? Putting these items in the bin is a huge waste of valuable materials, not to mention a big problem for landfill – but it’s not difficult to recycle them! Take a look at this guide from RecycleNow, which gives you a comprehensive guide on how to recycle electrical items.
Modern technology means we now live in an age of instant communication and digital media. Make the most of it and you could do the environment a favour, too:
Batteries are tiny little things, so popping a couple of those in the bin doesn’t cause any harm, right? Afraid not! Battery waste can be a big problem in landfill, so take advantage of the nationwide ‘Battery Back’ scheme. This means you can drop off your old batteries for recycling at any shop that sells them, whether you bought them from there or not. This helpful tool from BatteryBack will help you find your nearest collection point.
Your little bundle of joy will go through an average of 4,000 nappies in his or her lifetime, and even the most well-intentioned green parent would struggle to find a way to recycle them (yuck). So if you find you bin is filling up with your little’uns unmentionables, why not consider recyclable nappies instead?
Say you’re embarking on some DIY and you need a drill, do you go out and buy a cheapy one that’ll do the job but then sit in a cupboard gathering dust? Or do you reach out to your local community to see if someone has one you could borrow for the afternoon? The second one, of course! Collaborative consumption is a growing movement that sees folk sharing their stuff and negating the need to buy more (which will end up in the bin!).
All the facts in this article were sourced by our partner, the Centre for Sustainable Energy. If you’d like more free impartial advice on anything from tips on energy efficiency and renewable energy to how to apply for grants and financial support just give us a call on 0800 408 6601 (mobile 0117 934 1999) to speak with an energy efficiency expert or you can email us.
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Please see below for full terms and conditions on 33% renewable electricity, 3% interest rewards, exit fees and saving claims.
1Monthly cost - Representative monthly direct debit costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas) paying in advance by direct debit, including online discount. All rates correct as of 23/08/16, but may go up or down.
2Weekly cost - Representative weekly costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas). All rates correct as of 23/08/16, but may go up or down.
3Pay Monthly Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYM OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location.
4Pay As You Go Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYG OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location.
We include almost twice as much renewable electricity as the national average: At least 33% of electricity in all of our tariffs comes from renewable sources. The national average, according to Ofgem as at March 2014 was 16.7%. For more information please visit this page.
33% of your electricity comes from renewable sources: 33% renewable electricity as standard as of 1st April 2015. Renewable electricity is generated from wind, solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, hydro, biomass, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas and biogas.
3% interest: Calculated at 3% per year, paid monthly based on number of days in credit and the amount left in your account after you’ve paid your bill. OVO Interest Reward is capped at 12 times the amount of the current direct debit amount and is available to customers paying by advance direct debit. Terms apply: http://www.ovoenergy.com/terms/
95% of new customers save when switching to OVO: Based on all new customer signups between 01/02/2016 and 31/07/2016
94% of surveyed customers would recommend us: OVO conducted a survey of their customers in between 1st January 2016 and 15th April 2016. Out of 15,312 customers who responded, over 94% rated OVO 6+ when asked 'how likely would you be to recommend us to a friend and family, on a scale of 1 to 10.
Britain's top rated energy provider: Britain's top rated energy provider in the Which? 2015 satisfaction survey. Survey conducted in October 2015. Awarded in January 2016.